Admit It's Not Easy Catching 4-Legged Perpetrators In The Act

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Thirty-three years after it went into effect, the city’s pooper scooper law is widely being ignored.

But who, exactly, is to blame?

They typically don’t walk around with baggies in their mouths and — as far as we know — have no clue how to use a toilet. So for a countless number of New Yorkers picking up after man’s best friend means scooping up you know what and hoping city workers are around at the right moment to make sure others do the same.

“I wish they would because it’s on the bottom of our shoes half the time,” one Manhattan resident told CBS 2’s Jay Dow.

During this fiscal year the Department of Sanitation’s Enforcement Unit has so far issued 250 violations for failing to clean up after a pet. Sometimes a sidewalk surprise is the result, but some neighborhoods are worse than others and a department spokesperson Matthew Lipani said the Enforcement Unit’s numbers are deceiving.

The unit also enforces and writes summons for illegal postings, dirty sidewalks, unleashed dogs and other violations, according to Lipani.

As far as actually writing one of those canine waste summonses, it’s not easy.

“It’s actually one of the hardest summonses to write. We have to see it in action. At that point we can write a summons. The dog owner has to get caught in the act,” Lipani said.

“People that don’t are slackers and not good citizens,” Manhattan resident Paul Novograd said.

Bronx Councilman James Vacca said the Bloomberg administration’s performance on this issue, well, stinks.

“I understand that dog tickets are difficult to issue, but only 250 so far this year? We have to be able to do better than that. Based on the complaints I get in my office, this problem has gotten worse, not better, and I am calling on the city to take action,” Vacca said.

Dog owners said city sanitation workers can only do so much, which means it’s up to us — not “Spot” — to keep our sidewalks clean.

The Department of Sanitation also denied a report that claimed its 24-member Enforcement Unit had been downsized due to budgetary constraints.

You buying the city’s rationale? Please off your thoughts in the comments section below.